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pentaprism m a g a z i n e

Trapped by Gavin Prest

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PENTAPRISM www.pentaprism.ning.com Pentaprism-photocommunity pentaprismphcommunity@gmail.com

PENTAPRISM MAGAZINE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR TEXT AND PHOTOS PUBLISHED BECAUSE THEY ARE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS. ANY COPY IS FORBIDDEN BY THE LAW.

GRAPHIC DESIGN : ELENA BOVO


Pentaprism is born by a common idea of a group of friends who love good potography, a sort of a bet for many of us, because we knew the difficoulties to face opening a photocomunity in 2013 when the web gives a wide choice of sites to see photos. The porpouse was, and still is, to build an easy-to-use platform with a high quality view, open to all photographic and artistic expressions, using the most important social networks only as a showcase and not as final target: Pentaprism gives you the possibility to publish your images as well as they appear at the moment of upload, without any algorithm that reduce the resolution, the pure pleasure to enjoy a photo at the best quality chosen by the authors. Selected and invited authors are toghether with entry photographers, everyone with his dedicated space in a high level concept of photography. This magazine is an extension of the activity in the site to highlight and deepen some photographic argouments.


index


6 INTERVIEW GAVIN PREST

20 BLACK&WHITE

30 THE ART OF PORTRAIT

40 FINE NUDE

50 CREATIVE EDIT

60 STREET

70 LANDSCAPE

80 WILDLIFE

86 MACROWORLD 96 TRAVEL JOURNAL: TANZANIA

111 PENTAPRISM CONTEST WINNERS

130 COLOR CORRECTION 134 REVIEW BOOKS


interview GAVIN PREST

As a photographer I love to create images with a narrative and give my viewers reasons to ask questions. I started my photographic career shooting black and white film and my passion for monochrome images has not gone away. Gavin Prest

How long have you been photographing? I was bought a Pentax ME-Super 35mm by my parents for my 21st birthday - that was 30 years ago, my camera may have changed but I haven’t stopped taking photographs since. How did you get into photography? I started out by joining a local amateur camera club. There were approximately 20 members and we met up once a week to discuss our photography and learn from each other. This gave me my first experience in studio photography and competition work. How have you experienced the transition from analog to digital? I began shooting black and white and transparency film on a 35mm camera and the latitude of these films was nowhere near as great as it is with digital photography. When I made the change from film to digital with my Kodak DC290 my early days with film had

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taught me a lot about exposure techniques - digital photography gives you far more scope to correct your exposure if you get it wrong first time. Using film also made me consider my composition carefully before pressing the shutter. Its so easy to snap away with digital and ‘blanket bomb’ your subject hoping you get a good frame. However much I loved using film digital photography allows you such a fantastic creative opportunity especially with the increased development of equipment and software. What is your equipment and what is the lens you could not give up? I shoot with Canon. I have several EOS 1D bodies from MK2 to MK4‘s. Lens wise I have a range from 10mm F3.5‘s to 500mm F4.5’s. My favourite lenses are my prime lenses which are 15mm fish eye a 50mm F1.4 and an 85mm F1.4 and my favourite zoom lens is 70 200mm F2.8L. In the studio I use Canon speedlites and Bessel studio lighting. If I had to choose one lens


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from my equipment it would be my 50mm F1.4 as this is the lens I first started with. What is the creative process that leads to the creation of your works? The process starts from a variety of means - both visual and verbal. I may see an image, person or location that leads me to a particular train of thought or I may hear a statement or expression and it makes me wonder how I could transfer that to a visual. I always strive to create a narrative and make a visual statement with my images. How do you build your own images - through sketches, drawings or studying the composition during shooting? When I first start a project I have several ideas in my head which I’ll transfer into visual inspiration on my phone / iPad to use as reference during the shoot. As the shoot evolves ideas and opportunities arise with either input from the model, team or location. Some of my most successful images have been almost accidental as the has shoot developed others have been planned carefully before even picking up the camera. In your opinion how important is a photographer for the unexpected, the accidental event? Very important - there have been times that I have been lucky enough to have a camera in my hand when an event has taken place which would have otherwise been unrecorded. With the increased popularity of camera phones a lot more of these unexpected, accidental events are being recorded by both professionals and non-photographers alike. What makes you prefer black & white rather than colour? Having been brought up with back and white film my love for monochrome has remained. With a colour image I feel you can sometimes be distracted by the different sensations on the eye whereas with black and white your focus is purely on the subject of the image. I do shoot colour and love the results but I will remain a black and white fan for its truth, grittiness and power.

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Which photographers do you follow? I have always been a huge Bob Carlos Clarke fan - I was lucky enough to meet him several years ago. I also am influenced by Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and Henri Cartier Bresson. What are your non-photographic inspirations? I am inspired by all sorts of influences outside of photography the main ones being people, travel, life experiences and true friendships. I’ve had several life changing moments and each of these has made me realise how important it is to seize every opportunity given to you. What advice would you give to people starting out in photography today? Listen to others, learn from others but always be true to yourself.

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Black&white curated by

roberto bon

“It has always been my desire to receive, from an observer, the big question: “Why?”. It implies an interest to my mind, to my way of thinking and interpreting photography, life, and reality. It raises a question of artistic nature and demands profound answers that leads to debate or simple exchanges of opinion. Unfortunately, the recurring question I hear is “How?”, which is much more obvious and relegated to mere technical choices. As an artist I am inexorably degraded, with a simple word, to the status of a artisan. An equally worthy profession but without the faintest ambition. The few times that this wish has come true, I remember that my choice was determined by the technique of using black and white.” (Max Ferrero )

I feel compelled to share and expand on the thoughts of Max Ferrero; photography in black and white can not be improvised it should not be “chosen after”, you have to see the photo in its original form, by excluding color from the brain, already in the early stages of framing. Greater attention to the content, the form, the direction of light. Lights and shadows have more influence in adding or removing “importance” to the image. No longer just a reproduction of reality, but immersion in creativity and search for what you want to express. Let me be clear right now that I’m not talking about rules, far be it for me to suggest a unique way and a dogmatic approach to photography in bn (I still have my doubts), I just try to introduce one aspect, my vision of a love for photography in general and a small, continuous, obsession with photography in Black & White.

Here I propose a few images on the site that I consider “worthy” of note and a particular attention.

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Monsoni | Roby Bon

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L’immenso | Amedeo Fragiacomo

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Up | Franco Folgori

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Untitled | Livio D’Apollonia


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Istiklal Caddesi | Peter Petzold

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THE ART OF PORTRAIT curated by

riccardo rossini

A look, an expression, the light, a concept. The capability to merge all these elements and obtain a synthesis of them can make an image of a visage more than a simple photo. A portrait should create a relationship between the subject and the observer, so you can see the point of view of the photographer, his way to interpret the moment, actually, he becomes the hidden subject of the image and his presence should be tangible. Here is a little selection of our best portrait images, for all I said, some tributes to the human feelings

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Erian | On铆rica Fot贸grafos


Divine Makeover | Mahesh Balasubramanian

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Untitled | Alexandra Fira

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From Russia with love | Elin Nordlien

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Untitled | Svetlana Melik-Nubarova

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fine nude curated by

amedeo fragiacomo

Since ancient times, artists have used the representation of nude to express ideas and feelings, although history has changed the ideas and expressions, the nude must appear without showing, must merge the form and the beauty as natural as possible to not cross the thin threshold that conduce to eroticism. “Art is never chaste” Pablo Picasso said “when it is chaste is not art anymore”. The secret of a good nude imageis the simplicity. A concept not easy to achieve.

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Untitled | Branislav Boda


Untitled | Alexandra Fira

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In my heart | Gabriele Tenhagen-Schmitz

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Strings | Andrey Putilin

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In the morning | Vlad Shutov


CREATIVE EDIT curated by

ELENA BOVO

Elements and ideas of Romanticism blend to a dreamlike vision of reality to generate surreal locations. A genre in continuous evolution that opens the door to research, experimentation, new perspectives on the representation of man and his environment. The man changed in appearance from its spiritual content, the space becomes anthropomorphic and dialogue with those who inhabit it. The feeling of grandeur that nature arouses in its human viewers. The imagery of Friedrich and deformations of De Chirico. Romanticism and Symbolism condensed into images so far removed from reality as to be faithful portrait of its essence.

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Earthbound | Clint Newsham

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A Preference for Fiction | Michael Bilotta

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Words | Creation’s Work

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Mystisch | Christine Ellger

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Potret-Sang-Gembala | Ipoenk Graphic

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STREET curated by

MARCO NOSIGLIA

Talking about street photography is like to talk about the birth of photography and at the same time of the desire to document or stop a significant moment , where we can find a person or a lot of people , rather than bring moments of private or public interest , to represent static or dynamic elements of a place , to tell the dramatic events and sometimes even violent scenes ... simply all you can see, provided that the fact refers to an environment mainly for towns , where scene before described meets or collides , realizes or destroys , where man is present , absent , passing or where he lives or where we feel his influence . So many great photographers of the genre have left an indelible mark on the history of photography, examples that can only give a cue but never copied due to the fact that the basic characteristic of the street is to be unique , having its essence in the unique moment . The secret of a good street ? able to see and , better yet, anticipate situations. Here are some wonderful photos on Pentaprism sections -urban- street reportage .

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The Game is a Life | Hiroki Fujitani

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Hard Day | Sayan Sarkar


Fire of Revolution | Mete BaลŸkoรงak

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Rue Aubagne Marseille | Phil Riitt


Untitled | Tatsuo Suzuki


landscape curated by

davide gIONGO

What I actually love in a landscape photo is the location, it couldn’t be different. This photographic genre inspires me the desire to travel and see new places, two indivisible elements for who likes this kind of photography and even most inspiring is the challenge to catch of the atmosphere of the moment. In the following pages a short selection of images that explain what I mean for lanscape photography

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Untitled | Simone Lenzi


Winter sky | Ăžorsteinn H Ingibergsson


Embrace | Bragi Ingibergsson

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Terraquest | Graig Bill

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The Lighthouse | Jo達o Almeida

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wildlife curated by

ashley vincent

The most simplistic definition for ‘wildlife’ is wild animals living in nature. A broader definition, though, encompasses all living things (except people) that are undomesticated, which includes everything from vegetation, plants and flowers to all creatures great and small found on land and in water whether in their natural habitat or in captivity; as far as animals go, the line is drawn to exclude those that have been tamed as pets, raised as livestock, or work on a farm. For the purpose of this introduction the focus is on wild (as opposed to domesticated) animals, and I have been asked to select three photos that for me are examples of great wildlife photography, which has not been an easy task seeing as there are many fine examples to be found on the Pentaprism website. As a wildlife photographer, I tend to focus mainly on capturing something of my subject’s personality, whether that be by way of a facial expression or something that shows them displaying natural behaviour. In either case what I attempt to do is capture a frame that others will find themselves drawn primarily to the animal subject in a way that they will hopefully feel some connection on an emotional level. The following three images are for me great examples of this, though as suggested above there are many more to be found on Pentaprism.

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Wading Bear | Nick Kalathas

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Stalking Lynx | Mario Moreno

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Common Seal (Harbor Seal) | Hans Overduin

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macroworld curated by

alberto carati

Macro photography is a photographic technique that allows you to reproduce on the sensor very small subjects. These subjects could be insects, butterflies, flowers, water droplets everything that our own imagination can create. In macro photography we talk about the relationship between the size of the subject that we see in the viewfinder of our camera and its actual size; so, we can talk of macro photography when that ratio ranges from 1:10 to 1:1.

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Col | Migotti Romolo


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Robberfly | Regayip Koรงak PENTAPRISM 89


Coctail Party | Aditya Permana

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Marbled Whites | Marbled Whites


Ballerine nel vento | Enrico Lorenzetti


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travel journal tanzania by ALBERTO CARATI

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It was May 5, 2012 when a group of friends decided to embark on a journey to discover the great migration that takes place every year around a ring between Kenya and Tanzania. The massive migration is dictated by the combination of pressure from large herds on pastures with the rain cycle. The rains moving from south to north by constantly creating new pastures. Herbivores to survive, follow the rains during a long and dangerous journey, followed by large predators. Between February and March, in the area of Lake Ndutu in the southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation, see the light about 800 thousand newborns who in April are already able to follow adults. The Great Migration, shot several times by remarkable documentaries from the BBC and National Geographic, is a unique event: millions of wildebeest, zebra and buffalo moving around a ring of about 600 km between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. Further on, there are lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and a variety of carnivores that accompany this transhumance. Determined to embark on this journey, we have relied on the organization of Marco Urso, who knows well those faraway places. The decision, poetic and a bit ‘adventurous, is to move inside the Ngorongoro and Serengeti with off-road vehicles and tents erected directly on the night in the bush.After months of preparations, the dream is realized. Here is a brief diary of the trip: February 28, 2013 - 12:00 pm, Malpensa Airport. They meet Marco and Roberta, Alberto C. and Simona, Alberto G.P. and Lara, Stefano and Cinzia. The dream is coming true and we are leaving for Tanzania. After 15 hours of traveling between airports and flights, we landed at the airport Kilimanjaro. The usual routine to get the visa , that costs $ 50 per person, baggage claim and then it’s off to Arusha, where we go shopping. In need of water, fruit juice, biscuits and other kinds of first necessities. From here on we must be absolutely independent, because in the savannah we will not find anything of what we will need. Stowed off-road, let’s start with destination Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge and we settle to (it will be the only night in comfort), where there we feel much better after a nice shower and a good meal. Before going to bed, we plan the program for the following day: visit the Ngorongoro Crater, where you can be alone half a day, and then we will move into the Ndutu area. Good night to all.

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02 March, 5.00 am. The alarm sounds: from now, the time and the days will no longer be scanned from the days that pass, but from sunrises and sunsets, from following animals that move and the clicking, that we will have in the ears, will be the click of cameras and not of the watches. As planned, before we descend into the crater and then we move in Ndutu. the photographic dances start... Click ... click ... click ... click ... click ... click ... click: in addition to the normal sightings, if I may say so, of lions, Thomson’s gazelles, Grant’s gazelles, elephants, zebra, wildebeest, giraffes, hyenas, vultures in the middle with some buzzard, marabou, crowned cranes in flight, warthogs, ostriches and a rhinoceros, which is well away from us (you need the binoculars to view it), we find other species that we recognize consulting a guide in English: Kori Bustard, Black Kite, Yellow-Fronted canary, Superb Starling, Cape Teal, Red Billed Teal and others that we fail to recognize. In a pool are the hippos, we do a little photo shoot. Here, we had a quick snack, but we must be careful because the eagles, which fly above us, are very fast to steal what we have at hand: to have lunch you remain in the off-road.By midafternoon we move and we reach the tented camp, which in the meantime has been mounted. We arrived after dark. We settle in tents and then we have dinner under a sky that is a riot of stars. We are tired. We go in the tents and collapsed into a deep sleep. The next morning, we have breakfast in the dark. This ritual is repeated until the day of departure. We step on the jeep while the dawn begins to give color to the sky and the savannah. The day will be devoted to the exploration of Ndutu and the first meetings come soon. Almost immediately we spot a lion and two lionesses. They are resting, perhaps in the night they roamed the savannah in search of something to put in their mouths. At one point the male and a female will rub, sniff and mate. In the space of half an hour they will do it two more times. “In the period of heat, the female may mate with more than one male and one mating session can last for several days, during which the couple meets from twenty to forty times a day and often leave out the power.”


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Meanwhile passes a herd of elephants, so we decide to move. Along the way we meet a group of BatEared Fox, which are quite rare to see three BlackBacked Jackal. We meet zebras and giraffes in the bush and we see a lone cheetah who looks at us for a moment and then disappears. We stay there a bit, to see if it reappears in a better position to photograph him, but no, it was as dematerialized. We keep on wandering in the savannah and behold, in a flat, a fair number of jeeps still with every type of lens sticking out of the windows and sunroofs. We are approaching and there are five cheetahs resting in the shade of the jeep as long as you move the shade of a big tree. Does not seem to have any intention to do anything but sleep, so we go on. Sometimes we see colorful birds in the trees and a steppe eagle, while in the savannah is wildebeest and zebras, cheetahs and the inevitable two other lions. The day ends at sunset, we spend in the company of two cheetahs, before reaching the base camp for our second night in the tent.

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After a few hours of sleep, there’is another dawn that paints the sky. Keep going! We sit on the jeep and we start a new day of exploring the savannah. After meeting a bunch of vultures that were feeding on a zebra carcass, we come in five cheetahs, how to behave, they must be fairly young. Play, chase, jump on him. So they have fun. Then suddenly they stop playing and look at the savannah. We take the binoculars and notice of Black-Backed Jackal held at a respectful distance from the cheetahs. One of these approaches, but it still seems very far to see an action of hunting. While the jackal tries to cross the road to get back in the grass where it would become invisible, near the cheetah more clicks and in a moment clears the disadvantage. The result is a chase during which the cheetah tries to give a fatal blow to the jackal to knock him down, but misses him. Continues running and the scene is repeated again, but this time did not succeed. The jackal is safe, because the cheetah has little autonomy, but he looked death in the face!

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“The cheetah takes a little time to reach 120 km / h, revealing prodigious acceleration (from 0 to 100 km / h in less than three seconds). Once attached to the target, the animal focuses on it, ignoring all other possible prey that you will find close during the chase. The chase lasts around less than a minute, and lasted for about half a kilometer: If the prey manages to escape for more time, hardly the animal continues to catch. The Cheetah sprint cost very much from the point of view of energy and physical, because, during the race, the respiratory rate increases by 2.5 times (from 60 to 150 breaths per minute), the body temperature rises dramatically, while lacking fat reserves of a certain size from which to produce energy. “ The morning passed quickly and we have to leave for the Serengeti, where we go in the afternoon. Along the transfer we see many gazelles and a beautiful herd of wildebeest and zebras. When we get the Seronera area, we start the search for animals and after watching the hippos in a pool, we see a leopard on a tree, but does not like our approach and takes


refuge in the bush, becoming virtually invisible, and a herd of elephants. A little further on we see another leopard on an acacia Tortilis. The stop reserve us a welcome surprise: looking better, we see even her cub. We stop to take pictures until the light allows it and then we go to the tented camp where, as usual, we arrive after sunset. “The plain of Serengeti is a region of about thirty thousand square kilometers, consisting of prairie, savanna and woodland located in East Africa. The northern part belongs to Kenya, the southern one (about 80% of the total area) to Tanzania. The area is the natural habitat for a wide variety of animals and it is estimated that it is inhabited by about one and a half million herbivores and thousands of predators. The most common animals are wildebeest, antelopes, gazelles, zebras and buffalos. The plain is famous for its impressive migratory movements that take place each year. Around October, about one and a half million herbivores moving south, crossing the Mara River, to return to the north (crossing the Mara still further west) around April. This

phenomenon is sometimes called “circular migration”. At the Serengeti we stay four nights, d days are always scanned from photographic safari. We cross herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest that you lose sight of an eye, but the real migration is delayed by about ten days, it rained a little and everything is still very dry. In the following days, however, it begins to rain more often and it does not take long before the prairies begin to change color, a sign that the pastures are renewing. Sweep over the grasslands to the numerous acacias. Sometimes on then the trees or along the lakes we see some birds bizarre, some difficult to identify who is to be photographed, while others fail to recognize that it is to photograph thanks to our guide: Red Billed Hornbill, African Grey Hornbill, Long Crested Eagle, 2 African Fish Eagle, Lilac Breasted Roller, Magpie Shrike, Cape Teal, Fisher’s Lovebirds, Ruff, Melba Finch.

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As we move, intrigues us a pile of sand with holes. We stop here and that materializes a group of Dwarf Mangoose, watching us curiously, while on a nearby tree near an eagle perched. Wildebeest, zebras and gazelles are a constant, while the buffaloes are a bit ‘more difficult to meet, even if you breed a couple of herds of respect. We find a group of baboons playing, eating and grooming, some solitary hyena resting under a tree or refreshing herself in a pool of water and the usual Grant and Thomson’s gazelles. One morning we stopped where there is already an SUV parked on board with an Englishman who had already met earlier. He explains that there are two baby leopard. We stop and the wait is not in vain: after a time in which nothing happens, finally we saw the small leopards, rising on a dry tree trunk on the ground. They are playing, then moving onto a tree, then down and back on the trunk. At the end of the shaft and from there back will not come down more. We move and crossed a beautiful leopard lying on a branch. At one point he gets up and goes down, the pace of the attack is stealthy: here is that speeds up, stands up a quite fuss and then you see him back on

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the tree. The attack failed. It Stay there for a couple of hours and then disappears into the bush, becoming a ghost in a few moments. On the last morning of staying at the Serengeti, a lone lioness seems to go hunting and then with a nice herd of elephants. Marco’s jeep was carried out while we take pictures of the lioness and the pachyderms. When we find it, it is off-road. We have permission to do so, and in fact beckons us to approach plan. This we can achieve, but we do not understand why, because we do not see anything from the street. As we approach, materialize six lionesses and, surprise, suddenly springing up five new little ones, which will always remain well camouflaged in the grass. Unfortunately we can not stay there long: we expect the transfer to Nduto, because the next day we return to Italy. During the transfer, we stopped again to enjoy the spectacle of zebras, wildebeest and gazelles that dot the landscape as far we can see. Suddenly we see a gorgeous male lion in the bush. He looks at us and only after a while ‘we understand that next to him is his girlfriend, which is coupled with a few moments later. Nearby there is another couple and we assume that the two males are brothers probably otherwise


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would fight among themselves for leadership. The last sightings are giraffes and Bat-Eared Fox. We arrive at the campsite that is already dark. It’s the last night in Tanzania: tomorrow we will have a long transfer to the airport and then the flight back home. At 12:00 on 09 March, we are at Kilimanjaro airport. We carry out the usual formalities and at 16:25, right on schedule, the airplane takes off. We landede in Milan at 5.30 on March 10, tired but satisfied. I believe that each of us would be ready to go exactly ten minutes after landing. Kwaheri TANZANIA (Goodbye Tanzania) NOTE: The parts in italics are taken from WIKIPEDIA.

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PENTAPRISM CONTEST In the following pages the winners photos our latest contests chosen by our members 1. Rain 2. Now there’s a look in your eyes 3. Autumn leaves

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Rain room | Fabio Florio 1st Classified contest: Rain


Rain | Richard Brocken 2nd Classified contest: Rain


Rainy day | Tatsuo Suzuki 3rd Classified contest: Rain


Quanto pesa una lacrima | Sergio Pandolfini 1st Classified contest: Now there’s a look in your eyes..


Goupil | Macromike 2nd Classified contest: Now there’s a look in your eyes..


Mathias Leberle | Nella 3rd Classified contest: Now there’s a look in your eyes..


Color joy | Serban Bogdan 1st Classified contest: Autumn leaves


Whispers of Autumn | Hajduk Bastien 2nd Classified contest: Autumn leaves


Red & Black | Matt Sahli 3rd Classified contest: Autumn leaves


color correction Marco olivotto

Photoshop Color Settings

I recently bought a new MacBookPro which was delivered just hours before I was due off for a series of workshops. I only had time to download Photoshop CC and very few other things. As soon as the installation was over, I launched Photoshop and immediately headed for the Color settings windows. This command is important enough to have a default keyboard shortcut: Shift-Cmd-K on a Mac, Shift-Ctrl-K on a PC. The default color settings proposed by Adobe can be seen in figure 1. Don’t mind the “Unsynchronized” warning at the top: it’s there just because I changed them for this article. Actually, I am very happy that these settings aren’t shared by other CC applications because, simply and plainly, they are a recipe for disaster. The description at the bottom claims that this set of choices is correct for preparation of content for video and on-screen presentation. Fair enough, although I don’t think that this is the main scope for the majority of users. It also reads that these settings emulate the color behavior of most video applications: which is true, and horribly sad at the same time, as we’ll see in a while. Finally, it states the less you use this setting for CMYK documents, the better. You’ve been warned, haven’t you?

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A default can be changed, of course. The problem is that most people never even open this window, and therefore in too many cases this is what is used. In Italy, where I work as a teacher and consultant in the graphics field, about 70% of the installations of Photoshop I see share these settings. Now, let’s get serious. One burning question is always raised in any workshop at any level: «is there a way that I may have consistent color through my workflow?» The answer is, of course, yes. The necessary PS to the answer is: not at all with these settings, which is what Adobe considers the best choice for the average user. Yet these settings are completely useless, especially from my European point of view. Let’s see why. The RGB working space coincides your monitor profile. There are two possible cases here: either you have a good one or not, and this depends on whether you use a colorimeter or spectrofotometer to produce an .icc file which describes how your monitor represents colors. In either case, though, it’s a flawed choice: having a good .icc profile for your monitor is a great idea, but it should never be used as the RGB working space in Photoshop. It must be set at system profile in your system preferences, but not in Photoshop. Mind you, there is a school of thought


Fig. 1

that claims that this is a good choice, because you’re sure that all the colors your monitor is available to deliver can be described by the profile, and, conversely, no RGB combination will fall out of your monitor’s gamut. While this is true in principle, it is not what you want, for at least four reasons. The first is that such numbers are meaningless outside your system. Give me a file with your monitor profile attached: I’ll thank you and immediately convert it to one of the standard working spaces like sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto RGB and the likes simply because it’s wiser to work with some sort of standard. The second is that your monitor profile is almost certainly worse than any of the standard working spaces, and chances are that its gamut is weird to say the least. The third is that your own monitor profile is likely to change in the next two or four weeks when you profile your monitor over, and the attached profile will be useless for you too, at that point. The fourth, and worst of all, is that most devicedependent profiles (that is, profiles which describe the behavior of monitors, printers, and any physical device) are not gray-balanced: sometimes slightly, sometimes as wildly as you may imagine. This has an impact on many Photoshop operations, for example setting a neutral point with the eyedropper in the

Curves window, but not only. This operation tries to force identical values in the RGB channels, which is the condition for neutrality in a well-behaved profile. But a physical device is not as well-behaved as we’d like, and will probably yield a non-neutral tint when R = G = B. Enough, I think. If this is your choice and your images have a cast, blame it on the color settings first. The CMYK working space is useless in Europe. The profile describes the standard output conditions for Web offset printing on coated stock in the United States and is based on the SWOP prescriptions. We don’t use SWOP in Europe, but a completely different set of parameters which make up a characterization called FOGRA39 – probably the best choice although not the only one available. I can get away with the Gray and Spot workings spaces, so I won’t argue. But then come the Color Management Policies, which are set to: Off. The mark in the underlying checkbox says that you’ll only be asked what to do when you open a file embedding a profile different from the one listed in the current preferences. Well, it seems the computer will for a decision in this case, so let’s see what choices we have. Scenario: let’s pretend we know nothing at all about color profiles, which is sadly true for the majority of

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Fig. 2

users, at least in this part of the world. Also because, if we knew, these color settings wouldn’t be there at all. They’d have a chance to survive similar to my understanding of Italian politics: none. Open any RGB file whose color profile is different from your monitor’s, and what you’ll get is depicted in figure 2. Let’s see: the opening statement informs you that the file you’re about to open has an embedded color profile different from the one you’ve chosen to use as a default. It even tells you which profile is embedded, and your current choice of working space. Then it gives you three options: use the embedded profile, convert the colors to the working space defined in the color settings, discard the embedded profile. Clear enough, I hear you say? Since we’re not expert in this field, we tend to have two reactions yielding to one catastrophe: the first is to trust what someone as authoritative as Adobe suggests we should do; the second is to get rid of something we don’t know. “Discard” is a psychologically powerful word in this context, because we don’t know what a profile is, we fear what we don’t know, and we like to get rid of what we fear. Also, it’s Adobe’s proposal. So we’ll simply click: OK. This is the most likely scenario. If the embedded color profile is far enough from the monitor profile, you’re likely to see something like figure 3. In this case, the picture is coded with a ProPhoto color profile, but this was ignored and the numbers interpreted as if they were monitor-related. Appalling, isn’t it? Especially when you realize that the correct appearance of the colors would be that

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of figure 4. The last two screenshots do not show a slight difference, but an enormous one. If the file we just opened didn’t have an embedded profile, figure 3 would appear, but without a hint of the warning given in figure 2. We wouldn’t have a chance to know that something is really going wrong, and we would probably complain about the photograph having bad color. A correct set of choices would look more like figure 5. The RGB working space is set to a standard profile, not some monitor’s shaky characterization file. The management policies are correctly set to preserve the embedded profile, if any. And in whatever case of profile mismatch or lack thereof, Photoshop will issue a warning. The bottom line is that Adobe’s choice for the default of color settings is wrong and must be changed. What you’re going to choose is largely up to you, but it must at least make sense with your workflow. In any case, please, you should not chose any devicedependent profile as working space, and you should fire up the security around color management: preserve whatever profile is embedded in the file (or change it if you wish, but only if you know what you’re doing and why you should be doing it) and warn whenever something is different than expected. This is not enough, of course, but it’s the basic step to ensure consistency of color throughout your workflow.

www.marcoolivotto.com


Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

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books curATed by

pietro collini

L’IMMAGINE COME PUNTO INTERROGATIVO O IL VALORE ESTATICO DEL DOCUMENTO SURREALISTA

Author: Clément Chéroux Year: 2012 Pages: 48 Publischer: Johan & Levi Price: € 8,90

The author, an historian of photography, director of the Fund Photo at the “Centre Pompidou”, in a few pages clarifies the meaning and concepts that underlie surrealist photography. Rich in examples and iconographic references to fundamental exponents of surrealism such as Dali and Breton, this book takes us by the hand in a very peculiar world of photography, giving brief and clear guidelines, without going into boring formalisms. A highly informative and inspirational volume of work that perfectly complements libraries of art lovers and photographers alike.

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